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Lost Opportunities

by Miles Austin

Lost Opportunities

Lost opportunities.  We know that this happens to most of us every day, money flying out the window. We can’t do everything we know we should do to grow our sales and our business.  Simply not enough time in the day.  I have always had that feeling, and now it is exasperating (and yes I looked it up – it means ‘causing annoyance’) due to the introduction of social media and a multitude of web-based tools and mobile computing.  This is the time to prioritize your efforts to maximize your return. With the appropriate web tools, you can automate many of the repetitive tasks that rob you of your time, yet are so critical to your business growth.

Fill the Funnel LogoOne of the easiest ways to fill your funnel is with those that you are interacting with every day. Unless you are really, really behind in your sales/marketing programs, you and your products/services are being seen by dozens of people each day. Some of you are connecting with hundreds and even thousands in your daily activity and you are not taking advantage of this exposure.

Many of you are doing webinars or web meetings.  A growing number of you are sharing information on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. How many visitors are viewing your website each day?  Add all the contact points up for a week and you might be surprised at the numbers. 100? Possibly 500 to 1,000?  A quick indicator is to check out how many people are viewing your LinkedIn Profile each week.  How many followers do you have on Twitter?

With all this exposure to people that have some interest in you and/or what you do, are you asking for permission to contact them again?  Are you giving them an easy way to indicate their interest?  Do you even know who they are? For most of us in sales the answer is a big NO.

Let me be clear, you are never going to capture every visitor to your profile, website or event. Understood. But my experience is showing me that some of those visitors WANT to hear from you again if you offer value to them in some way. How can you learn who those people are?

I am a proponent of each individual sales person (whether working for a giant corporation or as an individual entrepreneur) having their own personal account with an automated email service system (ESP). I am not talking Outlook here.  A real, full-featured ESP such as Constant Contact, Ratepoint, or MailChimp to name a few that I recommend and support.  Each has it’s value and unique set of capabilities appropriate for the need and it is not my purpose to steer you one way or another in this post.  That is best done in a separate discussion, and if you do not yet have one in place, click here to schedule a free 15 minute call to explore options best suited for your business.

MailChimp LogoUsing MailChimp as an example for this post, allow me to lay out my recommendations for you to capture a greater number of possible leads in an easy, automated way using web tools.

When you are making a presentation to a group larger than 3-4 people, use a web tool to have each attendee “sign-in” when they come into the room.  The tool that I use for this purpose, is from MailChimp and is called Chimpadeedoo. Chimpadeedoo makes it easy to collect email addresses from your iPad and import them into MailChimp.  Not only is it an efficient way to capture the important information, your attendees in the meeting will most likely enjoy the interaction and using the iPad in this way.  It is also a great ice-breaker before the meeting begins.

Chimpadeedoo screen capture

It will capture the information you are asking for, and I recommend you keep it simple-First Name, Last Name, Title and Email address at the max.  I typically just request email address as you can see in the iPad screen above.

Remember, when you are connected at some point to the internet, this information is fed directly into MailChimp to use in the future. This simple app has worked wonders for me when I use it at a “registration desk” at the door for one of my presentations, or at the conference table when there are several people attending from various departments, many of whom I have not yet met. You can customize the form and the background to match your company branding and image. It is available on the Apple AppStore for your iPad.

Chimpadeedee is an Adobe AIR application that can be installed on any laptop or desktop computer (Windows/Mac OS X). Same thing as Chimpadeedoo, just on a laptop.  Collect email addresses in physical locations, like at points of sale, trade shows, and checkout locations. No connection? No problem. Chimpadeedee allows you to collect email addresses offline.

Here is the way my screen looks on my HP laptop at an event:

Chimpadeedee Screen

I have used this when presenting at a larger venue, or in a “booth” environment where I might not want to leave my iPad unattended, or when there might be several entrance points to the venue and I want to capture the guests information as they arrive at each door.  One of the features that I appreciate is that with MailChimp, my ‘list’ can be segmented into smaller lists, and each event I present at feeds into it’s own subset for that topic, while still providing me the capabilities of the full MailChimp solution down the road.  By selecting the appropriate ‘list’ from the pull-down menu, you can feel confident knowing that the attendees will be feeding into the correct location.

How about your LinkedIn Profile?

You are allowed to list three websites on your profile and most of us have not taken advantage of these valuable links.  Why not use one of those spaces to invite visitors to register for your communications/newsletters, invitations etc.  Here is how I have done this with my profile as the #2 option under Websites titled “Learn About New Web Tools“.

Would you like an appointment?

How about letting interested viewers of your LinkedIn Profile set an initial appointment with you?  Check out Option #3 in my Websites area titled: “Schedule a 15 Minute Call“.  This link takes the viewer to another web tool (TimeTrade) that has set over a dozen appointments in the last two months with people that I have never met until they set the appointment. I will be writing a separate post in the near future about this terrific web tool.

How about your Twitter Profile?

Typically you will find the URL of the company website or a personal blog.  Why not include a link to your Subscription Page in your Bio and keep the link to your website or blog in the URL space?  People that are signing up from this link are doing so because they want to learn more about you.  Why not make it easy for them. Visit my Twitter profile to see how this can work.

Take action!

Don’t let lost opportunities continue in your professional life.  Take a few minutes some evening, check out the tools that I have previewed for you, and act on them.  MailChimp is required for the Chimpadeedee and Chimpadeedoo tools.  If you choose to subscribe to the MailChimp service by clicking here, you will receive $30.00 credit in your new account ( and so do I).

If you would like some help prioritizing your web tool use to gain full advantage, set a 15 minute appointment with me to explore if I am able to help.  If you would simply like to learn more about web tools that can improve your sales results, sign up for the Fill the Funnel news service.

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